In addition to providing specific sensory properties (e.g., flavor or textures), there is a need to produce foods that also provide functionality within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, over and above simple nutrition. As such, there is a need to understand the physical and chemical processes occurring in the mouth, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, in addition to the food structure-physiology interactions. In vivo techniques and in vitro models have allowed us to study and simulate these processes, which aids us in the design of food microstructures that can provide functionality within the human body. Furthermore, it is important to be aware of the health or nutritional needs of different groups of consumers when designing food structures, to provide targeted functionality. Examples of three groups of consumers (elderly, obese, and athletes) are given to demonstrate their differing nutritional requirements and the formulation engineering approaches that can be utilized to improve the health of these individuals. Eating is a pleasurable process, but foods of the future will be required to provide much more in terms of functionality for health and nutrition.


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